BMW began producing the 5-Series models in 1972 and is currently producing the sixth generation of the luxury car. Sold in both sedan and touring styles, the BMW 5-Series is powered by a single turbo inline-6 N55 and the twin-turbo V8 N63, and is mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. BMW also released the 5-Series Gran Turismo which is a coupé-like crossover powered by a single-turbo diesel I6 producing 242hp, a single-turbo I6 producing 302hp, and a twin-turbo V8 producing 402hp. These engines are mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission and get stopping power from the new Brake Energy Regeneration system.
BMW is doing a running jump into the diesel market by releasing a few new variations in one day. The highlight of this trio of diesels is the long-rumored M550d xDrive scheduled to appear at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012. In Germany, the M550d xDrive will go on sale at a starting price of 80,800 euro ($104,500 at the current exchange rates) for the sedan and 83,750 euro ($108,400 at the current rates) for the station wagon version.
The BMW M550d xDrive is the first model to come from BMW’s latest M Performance Automobiles division and is joined by the X5 M50d and X6 M50d. All three models will share a new tri-turbo straight-six diesel engine that delivers a total of 381 HP and a peak torque of 546 lb-ft. In the M550d xDrive, this power is just enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph. Fuel economy comes in at 44.8 mpg.
UPDATE 01/26/2012: This review has been updated with the official images and specs for the BMW M550d xDrive.
UPDATE 02/29/2012: BMW has unveiled a series of almost 100 new high res images presenting the new M550d xDrive in action in different locations. Check our picture gallery to see them all!
Before we even get into the top list of sportscar for 2011, we think it would be best to clear something up: the new Porsche 911 would have definitely made the list if it wasn’t for the fact that it won’t be hitting Stateside until 2013.
That being said, we have a few top hitters for 2011 that we would be foolish not to take notice of. It was a battle trying to choose between the plethora of options provided in the sports car segment, but what we ended up with was a range of 450 HP to 560 HP, 0-60 mph sprint times between 4.6 seconds and 3.7 seconds, and speeds topping out between 186 mph and 198 mph.
Noted BMW tuning company Vorsteiner has been burning the midnight oil the past couple of weeks, having released one program after another for a number of models from the German automaker.
It appears that they’ve stretched their run of programs for Beamers into the next calendar year with the release of the new V-MS program for the BMW 5-Series F10.
The whole set of modifications encompass a comprehensive list of new aerodynamic body panels, all of which are made entirely out of carbon fiber. As if we expect anything less from Vorsteiner.
The carbon fiber V-MS components have been designed to fit cars equipped with the M-Sport package and includes a new front spoiler, a boot lid lip, a new diffuser section on the rear bumper, a bolt-on replacement cat-back performance exhaust system that’s available in either stainless steel or titanium, with the aforementioned exhaust slashing off about 25% of the weight from the standard equipment fitted by BMW into the 5-Series F10.
The whole set of modifications don’t come with any engine enhancements, which means that you’ll still see the 5er’s eight-cylinder engine boasting of an output that could reach up to 407 horsepower.
We know the deal about getting an uptick in power, but with already 407 ponies at your disposal with the 5-Series, you could do away without one, especially if you’re carrying Vorsteiner’s V-MS body kit program.
Right before Christmas, German magazine Autobild gave themselves a little present: they took all of the current BMW M models and tested them on the circuit to see which one was the fastest. All of the tests were done on the Sachsenring circuit in Germany and, surprising or not, the fastest model turned out to be the M3 CRT (E90). In fact, according to Autobild, not only was it the fastest from all the models tested, it was also the fastest M Car they have ever tested on the Sachsenring.
The M3 CRT lapped the circuit in 1:38.87 , closely followed by the M5 with a lap time of 1:38.90 and the 1-Series M Coupe with a time of 1:40.18. The list continues with the M3 in coupe, sedan, and convertible forms and ends with the X6M and X5M. Both SUVs were faster than the old E60 M5.
German tuning firm, Prior Design, has become quite the specialist in outfitting high-end vehicles with impressive aerodynamic kits. Apparently, they’ve become so good at it that they’re releasing these programs one at a time at an increasingly frequent rate.
Prior Design’s latest project involves the new BMW 5-Series F10 sedan and true to form, they’ve done yet another remarkable job. As a whole, the program includes plenty of new carbon fiber additions, particularly the new front apron, which by the way comes with LED daytime running lights. There’s also a new integrated carbon fiber spoiler, sill extensions, a carbon fiber rear window spoiler, and a specially built diffuser insert that frames the 5er’s stainless steel quad tailpipes.
To top it all off, the BMW’s hood comes with a print design that we can only describe as a little bit "leopard-ish." We certainly don’t know how it fits into the whole program and the 5-Series’ stature as a luxury car, but if Prior Design wants to include it with their program, we certainly won’t question their credibility in that regard.
Performance modifications were most likely not left undone, but that doesn’t mean the BMW 5-Series needs one, especially when you consider that power for the car can go all the way up to 407 horsepower, courtesy of an eight-cylinder engine boasting BMW’s TwinPower Turbo Technology and High Precision Injection.
Following up on the teaser trailers for Jeremy Clarkson’s Powered up DVD, Top Gear’s main man has released another video with a bit more action than the first two. In this video, Clarkson goes through some of his favorite cars of the year and his top pick is surprisingly not a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, even though a Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante did take third place on his preference list.
With the 5-Series GT’s fading sales - not that they were extravagant in the past - BMW has long considered putting the vehicle out of its misery. At one time though, the company had big plans for their sports activity vehicle. BMW expected to sell 4,000 to 8,000 GTs annually, but they ended up only selling 2,848 units in 2010 and may sell up to 2,160 units in 2011. However, it would be a shame if they sent it away without so much as a last fighting chance. Enter the BMW 5-Series GT M-Sport Package.
The upgraded 5-Series GT will benefit from the usual array of M-Sport package accessories, including dark chrome tailpipes, a lowered M Sport suspension, and a new set of 19-inch V-spoke M alloy wheels. The interior will see new sports seats upholstered in fabric Alcantara, an M leather steering wheel, an M driver’s footrest, M door sill finishers, Palladium Grey interior trim strips, and a BMW Individual roof lining in anthracite.
The 5-Series GT may be fading off into the distance, but BMW will be making its last half-hearted attempt to make it great with sales starting in late Fall 2011. We’re not quite sure it will make a difference - we think the hatchback will need much more than the random added accessories - but sometimes it’s the thought that counts.
Diesel cars often get an unfair rep for not being as powerful as their gasoline counterparts are. That’s where tuning firms like Hartge come in.
Not much power? Yeah, they’ll take care of that.
The tuning firm’s latest program involves a BMW 5-Series 535d model and it comes with doses of styling and performance modifications. Styling-wise, Hartge’s package comes with new carbon casings for the mirrors, a set of Hartge emblems for the bonnet and the bootlid, new 80mm mufflers, a suspension tweak, and a new set of 21" Hartge Classic 2 wheels. Inside, the BMW 535d gets a Hartge aluminum medal on the steering wheel, as well as aluminum pedals, and black velor floor mats.
More importantly, Hartge also treated the BMW 5-Series with a sweet performance package, courtesy of an engine conversion that takes the 535d’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight six diesel engine and improves its output from 295 horsepower and 442 lb/ft of torque all the way up to 354 horsepower and 516 lb/ft of torque.
With all the changes in tow, the BMW 5-Series 535d can now hit 0-62 mph in just 5.2 seconds to go with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
It’s not flashy buy it certainly catches your attention, especially considering that the 535d runs on diesel power.
BMW has always had a good following in Japan, so much so that they’ve actually had a presence in the country for 30 years now.
To celebrate the German brand’s 30th anniversary in the Land of the Rising Sun, BMW has unveiled a special edition 5-Series F10 for the occasion. The car is called the 528i ’30th Anniversary Edition’, and as its name obviously suggests, it’s a limited run model that commemorates BMW’s 30-year presence in Japan.
The 528i 20th Anniversary Edition is limited to only 200 units and will come with special styling elements to justify its ’SE’ tag, including a Deep Sea Blue Metallic finish, a BMW Individual aluminum window trim, Veneto Beige dakota leather, Satin Walnut Wood Fine Honey Brown Individual trim, door sill plates engraved with the 30th anniversary logo, a head-up display, and a premium audio system.
As for the powertrain, the car will carry BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine, one that produces an output of 258 horsepower.
In the off-chance that you’re in Japan while reading this, the cost of owning one of the 200 models of the 528i "30th Anniversary Edition" is 7.9 million Yen, which is around $103,400 based on current exchange rates.
German tuning company, Alpina, has created a new program based on the BMW 5-Series which they’re calling the D5 Bi-Turbo. Comprised mostly of performance modifications, the D5 Bi-Turbo features a re-tuned version of the car’s original 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six diesel engine that produces an improved output of 345 horsepower. Count that up compared to the standard output of 245 horsepower and that’s an improvement of 100 ponies.
What’s more fascinating about Alpina’s program is that the company was able to manipulate the car’s fuel system to generate the same fuel-efficiency rating for the D5 Bi-Turbo - 6.2 liters/100 km, 37.9 mpg - with the BMW 530d. That may not look all that impressive, but considering the fact that the latter only produces 240 horsepower, you’ll be able to piece together exactly why that’s something worth your attention.
Moving out from under the hood, other important modifications done on the car include a revised suspension system with shorter springs, a new ZF SWITCH-TRONIC eight-speed Sport Automatic transmission, and a new set of 20" Alpina Classic rims that come wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
By no means are we brushing off the D5 Bi-Turbo as just another impressive work in a long list of programs Alpina has done over the years. Despite the minimal changes done on anything that can’t be found under the bonnet, Alpina’s D5 Bi-Turbo still warrants some serious attention, especially for those that put premium on substance over style.